Social Media

How to Monetize Social Media Traffic

by Jason Green on August 27, 2010 · 1 comment

You click “I like it!” in your StumbleUpon toolbar to promote your own work. Is it spam? Maybe, but let’s look past that for now. Let’s instead assume someone stumbled your site on their own.

Buckle up, because you’re about to get 500 free visitors to your site. I’ve even seen some pages get over 1000 visits!

This is really exciting, but the fact is that you’re not going to make a dime off of them.

So how do we make money from social media traffic?

1. Made For AdSense : NO!
Social media visitors are far too savvy for an MFA (Made For AdSense) page. If you create some stupid list and paste AdSense ads all over the place, you can be damn sure no one will be clicking them. You’ll get a thumbs down faster than your page can load.

2. Hock an Affiliate Product : NO!
Stumblers are not looking to spend money. They’re taking a break to browse the Internet. If they see that you’re just trying to sell them something…thumbs down!

3. Sign up for a Paid Membership to your Site : NO!
We’re talking about instant gratification with these visitors. You have 3 seconds to grab their attention. This offer involves giving you my information before I get anything in return. I’m gone.

So what’s an internet marketer to do?

Social media loves free online apps. Develop a killer Web 2.0 site, with an equally killer web application if you want to make any money from your social media efforts.

Did I mention it needed to be free???

You can’t sell directly to these visitors. You need to give something away for free, and get them to come back later to give you their money. They begin using the free version of your web app, but for $X per month, they can have all these premium features. This is where it’s at!

Oh, I forgot to mention that it wouldn’t be easy. If you’re just looking for pizza and beer money, you might be able to get by with a made for AdSense page, but if you want to make some real money, you actually need to have a good idea, and put a decent amount of work into it.

Am I wrong? What works for YOU?

*** Update – 3/5/2008 ***
An example of what I mean by “Web 2.0 App” is Squarespace.com.

I actually just stumbled upon this company.

What you need to mimic to make money with social media:

1. Their homepage has a big “sign up for free” button.

2. You still have the option of browsing their entire site. You’re not locked into the free option if you’re already ready to buy.

3. They offer many service plans at a wide variety of price points. ($7 – $175)

4. Clean and slick style. If your site looks sloppy, I’m gone.

5. Tells me what they do and who would need them. (They’re hoping YOU do.)

6. Incredibly easy signup process. You only need to provide a login, password, and email address.

Note that I’m not affiliated with this site in any way. This is just a perfect example of what I was trying to convey. StumbleUpon and other social media is a great way to expose new users to your offer. You just need to have a kick-ass offer if you want to get any bites.